Installing manually on UNIX

If you really want to install everything manually, the below instructions should work.

Install the following non-Python dependencies:

  • libffi-dev — needed for some Python extensions
  • postgresql 9.1 or later — our database (client, server, headers)
  • nodejs 0.10 (and npm)
  • memcached (and headers)
  • rabbitmq-server
  • libldap2-dev
  • python-dev
  • redis-server — rate limiting
  • tsearch-extras — better text search
  • libfreetype6-dev — needed before you pip install Pillow to properly generate emoji PNGs

On Debian or Ubuntu systems:

Using the official Ubuntu repositories and tsearch-extras deb package:

Start by cloning this repository: git clone https://github.com/zulip/zulip.git

sudo apt-get install closure-compiler libfreetype6-dev libffi-dev \
    memcached rabbitmq-server libldap2-dev redis-server \
    postgresql-server-dev-all libmemcached-dev python-dev \
    hunspell-en-us nodejs nodejs-legacy npm git yui-compressor \
    puppet gettext postgresql

# Next, install Zulip's tsearch-extras postgresql extension
# If on 14.04 or 16.04, you can use the Zulip PPA for tsearch-extras:
cd zulip
sudo apt-add-repository -yus ppa:tabbott/zulip
# On 14.04
sudo apt-get install postgresql-9.3-tsearch-extras
# On 16.04
sudo apt-get install postgresql-9.5-tsearch-extras


# Otherwise, you can download a .deb directly
# If on 12.04 or wheezy:
wget https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/283158365/zuliposs/postgresql-9.1-tsearch-extras_0.1.2_amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -i postgresql-9.1-tsearch-extras_0.1.2_amd64.deb

# If on 14.04:
https://launchpad.net/~tabbott/+archive/ubuntu/zulip/+files/postgresql-9.3-tsearch-extras_0.1.3_amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -i postgresql-9.3-tsearch-extras_0.1.3_amd64.deb

# If on 15.04 or jessie:
wget https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/283158365/zuliposs/postgresql-9.4-tsearch-extras_0.1_amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -i postgresql-9.4-tsearch-extras_0.1_amd64.deb

# If on 16.04 or stretch
wget https://launchpad.net/~tabbott/+archive/ubuntu/zulip/+files/postgresql-9.5-tsearch-extras_0.2_amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -i postgresql-9.5-tsearch-extras_0.2_amd64.deb

Alternatively, you can always build the package from tsearch-extras git.

Now continue with the All Systems instructions below.

Using the official Zulip PPA (for 14.04 Trusty or 16.04 Xenial):

Start by cloning this repository: git clone https://github.com/zulip/zulip.git

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tabbott/zulip
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install closure-compiler libfreetype6-dev libffi-dev \
    memcached rabbitmq-server libldap2-dev redis-server \
    postgresql-server-dev-all libmemcached-dev python-dev \
    hunspell-en-us nodejs nodejs-legacy npm git yui-compressor \
    puppet gettext tsearch-extras

Now continue with the All Systems instructions below.

On Fedora 22 (experimental):

These instructions are experimental and may have bugs; patches welcome!

Start by cloning this repository: git clone https://github.com/zulip/zulip.git

sudo dnf install libffi-devel memcached rabbitmq-server \
    openldap-devel python-devel redis postgresql-server \
    postgresql-devel postgresql libmemcached-devel freetype-devel \
    nodejs npm yuicompressor closure-compiler gettext

Now continue with the Common to Fedora/CentOS instructions below.

On CentOS 7 Core (experimental):

These instructions are experimental and may have bugs; patches welcome!

Start by cloning this repository: git clone https://github.com/zulip/zulip.git

# Add user zulip to the system (not necessary if you configured zulip
# as the administrator user during the install process of CentOS 7).
useradd zulip

# Create a password for zulip user
passwd zulip

# Allow zulip to sudo
visudo
# Add this line after line `root    ALL=(ALL)       ALL`
zulip   ALL=(ALL)       ALL

# Switch to zulip user
su zulip

# Enable EPEL 7 repo so we can install rabbitmq-server, redis and
# other dependencies
sudo yum install https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-release-latest-7.noarch.rpm

# Install dependencies
sudo yum install libffi-devel memcached rabbitmq-server openldap-devel \
    python-devel redis postgresql-server postgresql-devel postgresql \
    libmemcached-devel wget python-pip openssl-devel freetype-devel \
    libjpeg-turbo-devel zlib-devel nodejs yuicompressor \
    closure-compiler gettext

# We need these packages to compile tsearch-extras
sudo yum groupinstall "Development Tools"

# clone Zulip's git repo and cd into it
cd && git clone https://github.com/zulip/zulip && cd zulip/

## NEEDS TESTING: The next few DB setup items may not be required at all.
# Initialize the postgres db
sudo postgresql-setup initdb

# Edit the postgres settings:
sudo vi /var/lib/pgsql/data/pg_hba.conf

# Change these lines:
host    all             all             127.0.0.1/32            ident
host    all             all             ::1/128                 ident
# to this:
host    all             all             127.0.0.1/32            md5
host    all             all             ::1/128                 md5

Now continue with the Common to Fedora/CentOS instructions below.

On OpenBSD 5.8 (experimental):

These instructions are experimental and may have bugs; patches welcome!

Start by cloning this repository: git clone https://github.com/zulip/zulip.git

doas pkg_add sudo bash gcc postgresql-server redis rabbitmq \
    memcached node libmemcached py-Pillow py-cryptography py-cffi

# Get tsearch_extras and build it (using a modified version which
# aliases int4 on OpenBSD):
git clone https://github.com/blablacio/tsearch_extras
cd tsearch_extras
gmake && sudo gmake install

# Point environment to custom include locations and use newer GCC
# (needed for Node modules):
export CFLAGS="-I/usr/local/include -I/usr/local/include/sasl"
export CXX=eg++

# Create tsearch_data directory:
sudo mkdir /usr/local/share/postgresql/tsearch_data


# Hack around missing dictionary files -- need to fix this to get the
# proper dictionaries from what in debian is the hunspell-en-us
# package.
sudo touch /usr/local/share/postgresql/tsearch_data/english.stop
sudo touch /usr/local/share/postgresql/tsearch_data/en_us.dict
sudo touch /usr/local/share/postgresql/tsearch_data/en_us.affix

Finally continue with the All Systems instructions below.

Common to Fedora/CentOS instructions

Start by cloning this repository: git clone https://github.com/zulip/zulip.git

# Build and install postgres tsearch-extras module
wget https://launchpad.net/~tabbott/+archive/ubuntu/zulip/+files/tsearch-extras_0.1.3.tar.gz
tar xvzf tsearch-extras_0.1.3.tar.gz
cd ts2
make
sudo make install

# Hack around missing dictionary files -- need to fix this to get the
# proper dictionaries from what in debian is the hunspell-en-us
# package.
sudo touch /usr/share/pgsql/tsearch_data/english.stop
sudo touch /usr/share/pgsql/tsearch_data/en_us.dict
sudo touch /usr/share/pgsql/tsearch_data/en_us.affix

# Edit the postgres settings:
sudo vi /var/lib/pgsql/data/pg_hba.conf

# Add this line before the first uncommented line to enable password
# auth:
host    all             all             127.0.0.1/32            md5

# Start the services
sudo systemctl start redis memcached rabbitmq-server postgresql

# Enable automatic service startup after the system startup
sudo systemctl enable redis rabbitmq-server memcached postgresql

Finally continue with the All Systems instructions below.

All Systems:

Make sure you have followed the steps specific for your platform:

For managing Zulip’s python dependencies, we recommend using virtualenvs.

You must create two virtualenvs. One for Python 2 and one for Python 3. You must also install appropriate python packages in them.

You should either install the virtualenvs in /srv, or put symlinks to them in /srv. If you don’t do that, some scripts might not work correctly.

You can run tools/setup/setup_venvs.py to do this. This script will create two virtualenvs - /srv/zulip-venv and /srv/zulip-py3-venv.

If you want to do it manually, here are the steps:

virtualenv /srv/zulip-venv -p python2 # Create a python2 virtualenv
source /srv/zulip-venv/bin/activate # Activate python2 virtualenv
pip install --upgrade pip # upgrade pip itself because older versions have known issues
pip install --no-deps -r requirements/py2_dev.txt # install python packages required for development

virtualenv /srv/zulip-py3-venv -p python3 # Create a python3 virtualenv
source /srv/zulip-py3-venv/bin/activate # Activate python3 virtualenv
pip install --upgrade pip # upgrade pip itself because older versions have known issues
pip install --no-deps -r requirements/py3_dev.txt # install python packages required for development

Now run these commands:

./tools/setup/install-phantomjs
./tools/install-mypy
./tools/setup/download-zxcvbn
./tools/setup/emoji_dump/build_emoji
./scripts/setup/generate_secrets.py -d
if [ $(uname) = "OpenBSD" ]; then sudo cp ./puppet/zulip/files/postgresql/zulip_english.stop /var/postgresql/tsearch_data/; else sudo cp ./puppet/zulip/files/postgresql/zulip_english.stop /usr/share/postgresql/9.*/tsearch_data/; fi
./scripts/setup/configure-rabbitmq
./tools/setup/postgres-init-dev-db
./tools/do-destroy-rebuild-database
./tools/setup/postgres-init-test-db
./tools/do-destroy-rebuild-test-database
./manage.py compilemessages
npm install

If npm install fails, the issue may be that you need a newer version of npm. You can use npm install -g npm to update your version of npm and try again.

To start the development server:

./tools/run-dev.py

… and visit http://localhost:9991/.

Proxy setup for by-hand installation

If you are building the development environment on a network where a proxy is required to access the Internet, you will need to set the proxy in the environment as follows:

  • On Ubuntu, set the proxy environment variables using:
export https_proxy=http://proxy_host:port
export http_proxy=http://proxy_host:port
  • And set the npm proxy and https-proxy using:
npm config set proxy http://proxy_host:port
npm config set https-proxy http://proxy_host:port